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Santa Barbara Man Faces 63 Years to Life in Prison for Rape, Battery

Ronald Larry Ledesma Click to view larger
Ronald Larry Ledesma

A 59-year-old man faces 63 years to life in prison after being convicted of raping an intoxicated woman, sexual penetration of an intoxicated person and two counts of battery, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Thursday.

A Santa Barbara Superior Court jury found Ronald Larry Ledesma guilty of multiple counts on Wednesday in the sexual assault case, according to Dudley.

The jury also convicted Ledesma on allegations that he previously served several terms in prison and was previously convicted of two robberies, Dudley said.

Ledesma took the victim — identified as Jane Doe, a homeless woman who was severely intoxicated at the time — from outside of a shelter, back to his RV, where he sexually assaulted her on Nov. 5, 2015, authorities said. 

Jane Doe went to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital the next morning to seek treatment and reported the rape to the Santa Barbara Police Department, authorities said. 

“Based upon the courage of Jane Doe, and the thorough investigation by officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department, the Department of Justice Crime Laboratories, and multiple employees of the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, led by Deputy District Attorney, Jennifer Karapetian, the defendant was arrested, tried, and brought to justice,” Dudley wrote in a statement. “Thus, culminating his inability to ever harm another vulnerable victim again.”

Sentencing has been scheduled for Oct. 2 before Judge Michael Carrozzo.

​“This verdict demonstrates that our laws protect all victims equally, despite their socioeconomic backgrounds, wealth, or class,” Karapetian said.

Santa Barbara Police Department officers investigated the case and arrested Ledesma after identifying him as a suspect, public information officer Joshua Morton said Thursday.

He noted that the criminal court trial took five weeks.

“The Santa Barbara Police Department wants to thank all those involved who helped to secure this significant conviction,” he said.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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